Hong Kong Law & Crime Politics & Protest

Busloads of pro-gov’t activists vandalise Tai Po ‘Lennon Wall’ message board at 2am, pasting up ads for Saturday rally

Hundreds of pro-government activists have damaged the “Lennon Tunnel” in Tai Po, pasting up flyers for a rally on Saturday and leaving “mourning wreaths” for pro-democracy politicians.

“Lennon Walls” have become a city-wide phenomenon after a month of political upheaval against the extradition bill, as thousands of supportive messages have appeared on dozens of public walls across the territory. The Tai Po incarnation, covering a whole pedestrian tunnel, is the biggest.

Ray Au, a Tai Po district councillor, said he saw around a dozen suspicious people at Tai Po Market station at midnight on Friday. Volunteers who were manning the tunnel called police.

Tai Po Lennon Tunnel

Photo: Stand News.

“We hoped the police would increase patrols to stop any damage,” Au said.

At around 1:30 am, several men arrived. Au said volunteers recognised them as people who had damaged the tunnel before.

Au said that, within 30 minutes, around 400 people in white shirts and 50 in black shirts arrived in six 60-seat tour buses and several private vehicles. They ripped messages down from the tunnel’s walls, and put up posters for Saturday’s pro-government rally.

Tai Po Lennon Tunnel

“Lennon Tunnel” replaced with “dead,” and “mourning wreaths” placed at the tunnel. Photo: Stand News.

They removed the “Lennon Tunnel” characters on top of the tunnel, and replaced it with characters meaning “dead” – referring to Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s claim that the extradition bill is dead.

They also placed “mourning wreaths” for pro-democracy lawmakers Claudia Mo and Lam Cheuk-ting, singer and activist Denise Ho and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, cursing them to die.

喂!臨時演員都係演員,道具專業啲得唔得?唔好遮住小名,基本尊重嘛!仲有,如果我「慫恿暴力」,就唔會「獲頒好市民獎啦」!嗱!大埔友,唔好浪費花牌,我用完,留比其他有需要人士,環保啲,大家覺得比邊個循環再用最好?

Posted by 林卓廷 LAM CHEUK TING on Thursday, 18 July 2019

Volunteers called police twice at around 2:15am and 2:21am. Police arrived after the unknown people had damaged the tunnel for around 10 minutes. Police dispersed the people but did not stop them or check their identities, Au said.

“Police said they did not see anyone causing damage or taking away any items,” he said.

Afterwards, police stopped 20 people who left on foot, and a woman was taken to a police station for investigation after she failed to produce identification documents.

Tai Po Lennon Tunnel

Photo: Stand News.

Earlier this week, unknown people put up flags of foreign countries in the tunnel, as well as papers that read “eight-country joint army,” claiming foreign interference.

“Lennon Walls” in other districts have seen different levels of destruction including instances of arson in Fanling, Chai Wan and Sai Wan Ho.

Saturday’s pro-government rally will be held on in Admiralty at 5pm, calling for an end to “violent protests.” Organisers said the rally will be peaceful, as they urged participants to wear light-coloured clothes such as white or light blue, not to wear masks or helmets and not to participate in any clashes.

Busloads of pro-gov't activists vandalise Tai Po 'Lennon Wall' message board at 2am, pasting up ads for Saturday rally